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Monday, May 15, 2006
Micheal Scrage writes that it may not be the case that high technology and higher education are supposed to be the west's magic elixir for perpetual growth.The educational quality of indian and chinese universities are becoming comparable far faster than anyone predicted and they roll oout 1 mn engg graduates every year. Higher education is becoming as much a high-tech commodity as circuit boards and mobile phones. Roughly 170,000 graduates come out of the universities in the US and Europe. Even if one (arrogantly) presumes that only the top 10 per cent of Indian and Chinese students are as talented as the top half of Americans and Europeans, the two Asian giants now graduate more quality engineers than the west. Western students clever enough to succeed in science or engineering are clever enough to know they will compete against growing global armies of educated rivals trained to work hard for less. He points out that high-bandwidth networks further amplify corporate capacity more easily to outsource their science and engineering processes. Innovative companies will chase "cheap smarts" as relentlessly as today's cost-conscious multinationals pursue cheaper manufacturing and call-centre capacity. Pointing out there is no premium wage as a post-doctorate in that marketplace, he adds,Knowledge is not power; it is on sale.
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